A Fight to the Death at the Anniversary Celebration (Part 5)
The Eve's Fight to the Death (Part 5)
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|After defeating Crona, Maka Albarn runs to catch up with her teammates to the Seal Shrine. But Death the Kid has his work cut out for him, as none of his attacks seem to do any damage to Free. What Kid and Black☆Star do not immediately recognize is that Free and Eruka Frog have set about a plan that will allow them to reach the Sealed Shrine first, where they experience more directly the effects of Asura's madness.|
The music on the recorder has concluded, and no one is with the Little Ogre in this room. While disappointed that Soul Eater and Maka Albarn have left his madness, the Ogre takes solace that the door remains open, and he still holds the key.
Death City Underground
Medusa Gorgon twitches, realizing something has changed with the Black Blood. Franken Stein realizes that Crona and Maka's soul responses have calmed. While Spirit Albarn, still wielded by Stein, is worried, Stein assures that his daughter is fine, having calmed Crona's soul wavelength as well as stabilizing that of Ragnarok.
Elsewhere, Crona is still sobbing. Soul, still in his human form, urges Maka that they have to catch up with Black☆Star and Death the Kid, while Maka worries about leaving Crona along when they are so overwhelmed.
"Don't mess with me!" comes from Crona's body, only it is not them speaking. Crona tenses as they feels the Black Blood emerge from their back, resuming the form of Ragnarok. "Don't mess with me, moron!!!" Ragnarok shouts as he wraps his left hand across Maka's mouth. "You wanna be friends with Crona!?" Ragnarok screams. Soul tries to intervene, but Ragnarok is trying to push him away with his right hand. Ragnarok can only assume Maka is pretending to be friends with Crona in order to bully them, which infuriates him as only he may abuse his meister. Crona tepidly tells Ragnarok to stop before screaming at him, knocking him away from Maka with one punch to his face. Everyone, especially Ragnarok, is shocked at Crona's ability to stand up for themselves.
Then Ragnarok screams, clutching Crona and grinding his head against theirs. "That was a great punch for you, Crona!" Ragnarok screams before asking whether Crona has any idea what it feels like to be punched by them (which Crona answers there is no way that they could know what their own punch feels like). Ragnarok compares the punch to "when you haven't been able to crap for three days and three nights, and then you finally push it out as hard as you can, and the water in the toilet splashes back on you!" Crona is appropriately disgusted. Ragnarok is upset at Crona talking back to him, so he grabs their outfit and lifts it up. Crona struggles to keep themselves covered from this "pervert" and tells the stunned silent Maka and Soul to hurry to the Kishin Shrine. Crona looks determined to their new friends and starts slamming fists against Ragnarok's head. While Maka is shocked, Soul says they will hurry on ahead. But as they turn to leave, Crona starts asking for help against the cackling Ragnarok, leaving the less-than-convinced Maka and Soul hoping Crona doesn't "die on us."
Soul transforms into his weapon form as Maka runs for the staircase leading down to the Kishin Shrine. He asks whether her neck wounds are okay, and she replies that Black Blood scabs have healed the injuries and in fact the Black Blood seems to have disappeared. Maka then tightens her tie, grips harder on her weapon and jumps down the stairway.
Further ahead underground, Death the Kid skates on Beelzebub through what appear to be ruins, with statues and pillars torn apart. He finds this lack of symmetry disgusting, but his thoughts are turned towards what he senses as the Kishin's soul wavelength. He then thinks he sees scarves emerging around him before seeing the three eyes of the Kishin. He sweats and struggles to catch his breath, causing concern for Liz and Patty Thompson. He tells the Thompsons that he has never senses such pressure before. Liz asks what "the first Kishin" was like, and Kid can only repeat what his father told him: Death defeated Asura, flayed his skin, and used that skin as a seal, such skin being the only material strong enough to imprisoned his body, soul, and madness. Death then drained Asura's blood from his body, which is why Asura likely needs the Black Blood to resurrect. Liz remarks how frightening Death used to be.
Patty then senses a heat source coming towards them. Kid sees the flash of light and dodges in time, but the cannon fire blasts through the ruins, the resulting explosion knocking Kid and Beelzebub down. Kid looks to see who fired that Death Eye Cannon, which turns out to belong to the now transformed werewolf, Free. Kid chastises himself for being too distracted by the Kishin's madness to sense Free's arrival, as he skids into a pose to shot multiple rounds at the werewolf. But each blast of Kid's soul wavelength rounds seems to pass harmlessly through Free's immortal body. As Kid realizes a prolonged fight will not assure any victory against Free, his best option is to run past him and catch up with Eruka and her Black Blood. After all, if Kid was able to catch up with Free by now, then he has to be faster than the werewolf. All Kid must do is knock Free off balance and run past him.
Before Kid can act, Free rushes forward, swiping at Kid's feet. Kid leaps back, then flip backwards to avoid another attack. Realizing Free means to disable Kid's legs to prevent him from moving forward, he aims and fires rounds again--but Free reminds the shinigami that he is still immortal. Kid therefore directs Liz and Patty to prepare for their next attack. Kid commences Soul Resonance with his weapons, initiating Execution Mode as he and the Thompsons stabilized their resonance. Kid's eye forms a scope to lock onto Free before he fires Death Cannon. As Kid gazes upon the resulting explosion, he reverts the Thompsons to their customary Demon Pistol form and anticipates that Free should be at least a bit injured.
But as the debris from the Death Cannon explosion clears, Kid sees Free is standing right in front of him, reminding the shinigami again of his immortality. Realizing Free is close enough to cause significant damage, Kid dodges and leaps back to avoid Free's three rapid-fire swipes. Despite Kid's retreat, Free does not pursue, instead leaping to stand in Kid's path towards the Kishin Shrine, intent on preventing the shinigami from getting past him. Kid looks around the ruined room, seemingly intent on finding a path forward, what he calls "some connection." He keeps looking at the damaged columns around the room then shouts, "I got it! They were connected!!" Kid was not speaking about the path forward: he was talking about how the pillars in this room used to be united, "connect[ed] so beautifully."
Overwhelmed by the ruins of this asymmetrical room, Kid collapses. As the Thompsons urge Kid to calm down, Free asks whether Kid is playing a puzzle, as he enjoys them. Thinking that Free is mocking him, Kid tries to respond, before he notices how broken are the statues in this room as well. Liz notices Kid rambling, fearing prolonged exposure to such asymmetry will make him "swept up by the madness." Kid begins scratching his head in a fit as the Thompsons struggle to find a solution.
The solution comes in the form of someone running swiftly into the ruined room--and kick his knee directly into Kid's back. "We caught up!!" shouts the person who just injured Kid, Black☆Star himself. Tsubaki Nakatsukasa, still in her ninja sword form apologizes for their lateness. Black☆Star quickly proclaims he has single-handedly defeated the Kishin--until Kid shouts that they have not yet caught up to the Black Blood, surprising Black☆Star. The ninja then turns to face Free and, despite having fought him before in London, asks, "What the heck are you!?" While Liz admits Black☆Star is goofy, she mentally thanks him for restoring Kid's focus away from the asymmetry of the room. Liz then directs Kid to notice how Free is asymmetrical as well: only his left leg is attached to a ball and chain. Seeing such asymmetry, Kid renews his determination to stop Free.
While Black☆Star gallops forward to attack Free directly, Kid assists with more rounds fired at the werewolf. As these rounds again seem to pass innocuously through Free's body, he reminds Kid of his immortality but inwardly fears Black☆Star's approach. Although recognizing how fast is Black☆Star's Speed Star move, Free is surprised that Black☆Star almost instantly leaped from the floor to right above him. Free barely dodges this attack, but he is too late to avoid the swipe of Black☆Star's weapon through his chest. While the ninja says he is not finished, Free more meekly reiterates that he is immortal, although he is confused whether Black☆Star is toying with him.
As Free dodges more of Black☆Star's swipes with Tsubaki's ninja sword form, Kid is confused: why is Free avoiding such attacks but never avoided Kid's fired shots? Kid comes upon an answer. He holds his weapons to his sides as he simply walks past Black☆Star and stands before Free. The werewolf threatens to tear Kid into eight pieces, which only pleases Kid based on his favoring of that number. Kid therefore calls Free's bluff, claiming "the version of you I see in front of me" is not a threat. Free pauses then chuckles, resuming his human form. Kid then marches up to Free--and the front of his body seems to melt into Free, shocking Black☆Star. Kid explains that what they see is not Free himself but a Demon Eye hologram. Free refers to this Spatial Magic spell as Forwarding Vision. Further ahead, he stands upon Tadpole Jackson, who is exhausted carrying Free while the werewolf has stayed in that place, projecting that image of himself in response to any of Kid or Black☆Star's moves. Eruka Frog, stuck carrying the Black Blood in her attache case, curses Free for "failing around on top of Tadpole Jackson," while Free defends his actions, because he could not keep up with her if he was to focus also on projecting his fighting moves against Kid and Black☆Star.
Free asks how Kid figured out his deception. Kid gives a lengthy explanation: Free dodged Black☆Star's attack while avoiding the shots fired by Kid because either meister would be able to tell whether a blow hit a physical body or only a hologram. Free must have used his Demon Eye Cannon behind the hologram to deceive Kid to think the attack came from the hologram and not Free himself, who was farther away by that point. As Kid would have to fight from a distance against someone who is immortal and could not be killed even by a shinigami, the hologram would hold out in a long-distance battle.
Kid then points his finger through Free's holographic abs at Black☆Star, asking how the ninja and Tsubaki failed to notice he was slicing through only air and not the werewolf's body. Black☆Star proudly explains that he thought his slices were too powerful for him to feel any resistance, while Tsubaki says she thought "Black☆Star had grown." Kid complains how much of a "doting weapon" Tsubaki seems to be. The shinigami then retrieves Beelzebub to continue running forward, with Black☆Star following behind. As Free replaces his shirt as his holographic spell dissolves, he chuckles, claiming the meisters are too late to catch up.
While Free is amused, Tadpole Jackson finally can no longer carry his weight. While Eruka tends to her injured familiar, Free sees they have arrived at the Seal Shrine. Eruka is intimidated by the location, while Free throws open the shrine's doors, before "those brats" catch up with them.
The shrine is dark save for some candlelight and the light coming from the now opened doors. A wind sweeps forward through the opened doors, to Eruka and Free's surprise as this room is sealed. Free proceeds, while Eruka follows carrying the Black Blood attache case. From the shadows, small noises can be heard, as some image of the Kishin's three eyes emerges, with what appear like hands shaking from those eyes. Eruka turns, likely in reaction to that sound and sight, but she sees nothing in the shadows. She shakes her head, as if to focus on her surroundings, and follows Free. But still the three-eyed creature seems to follow her behind every pillar. She turns to face the creature.
Standing before Eruka is Asura himself, dressed in his pinstripe suit, his face covered by his scarves except for some locks of his hair. While Eruka cringes, Asura's scarves move on their own towards her neck, choking her. Asura uses these scarves to lift Eruka and bring him closer to her, her hat falling off in the process. "Free..." Eruka tries to choke out, but the werewolf continues walking forward, ignorant of what is happening to his colleague. Asura lifts the scarf from his mouth, revealing a drooling maw full of teeth with gaps between them. He lifts Eruka's chin up as he opens his mouth and sinks his teeth into her face, ripping it from her head as easily as removing his own scarves.
"Nooooo!" Eruka shouts, her knees hitting the floor. Far ahead, Free finally notices Eruka's shouting. He turns--and Asura is not present before her, and she has pulled her hat over her face, which someone returned to her head. Free approaches her as she rambles about her fear, her face, and her desire to go home. Free is confused, asking what happened to Eruka's face. Eruka merely lets out a croak. Free leans down to pull up her hat and examine her face--and sees not her own face but that of Asura's drooling mouth and scarves over his eyes. Free is surprised--then blood escapes from his mouth. Eruka's hand has poked through his chest and out of his back. Free is shocked as Eruka bites into Free's neck, tugging as Asura did to her, and removing Free's face until it is pulled into strands like Asura's scarves. "I'm immortal," Free thinks, "but I'm gonna die...!?"
Eruka is then seen with a spike whose tip is pointed at her neck but has not penetrated her skin, while Free is seated on the floor, a blade as wide as his shoulders dug into the back of his neck. Free and Eruka both realized that they have been hallucinated, and they quickly toss down the weapons before they do fatal harm to themselves. Free refers to this experience as "the madness of the first Kishin." He looks towards the shadows where he can hear the creaking of chains, ones attached to a bag suspended over the wooden floor. This bag has three of the Kishin's eyes upon it--and it begins to squirm. This bag has its chains attached to a shrine that appears like a multilimbed person, two of its hands folded together and scarves around its head. Free realizes that Asura is contained in that very bag.
Manga and Anime Differences
- Although in both the manga and the anime Ragnarok shrinks, the reasons differ. In Episode 22, Maka's Anti-Demon Wavelength purified Crona, causing Ragnarok to shrink in size. In the manga, although Maka's Anti-Demon Wavelength does purify Crona, it does not shrink Ragnarok, hence he is at his full size when he torments Crona as Maka and Soul escape. Ragnarok's first shrunken appearance occurs later in Chapter 24, as a result of Death removing all the souls he had consumed through Crona.
- In Episode 22, Maka and Soul express some confusion why the Black Blood has left their body, while in Chapter 20 she largely only announces that the Black Blood has left without expressing much surprise.
- In Episode 22, Free threatened to rip Kid apart, with Kid calling Free's bluff by asking that he at least tear him into eight pieces. In Chapter 20, it is actually Free who suggests ripping Kid into eight pieces.
- In the Yen Press English translation for Volume 6 ebook, "spatial" is misspelled as "spacial."
- As Kid panics over the asymmetry of the room's ruins, the comics panels become off-kilter, mirroring how unbalanced Kid sees the room.